Our last trip to the coast was when Sophie was only 3 months old and I was glad we didn't have a newborn with us this time. She was so little and it was hard to be out in the sun and wind, so I spent most of that trip inside. This trip was the opposite - she loved the sand and water and wanted to spend every waking minute outside. Our first few days at the beach were pretty relaxed - a morning swim after breakfast, followed by lunch and naps, and then a second swim before dinner, games, and bed.
The house where we stayed was right on the beach! We had rented the right half of the house about 6 years ago, but this year we were on the left half. We loved it (although I was jealous of the other half's porch swing) and each family had their own room and bathroom.
Sophie ran straight into the water without hesitation the day we got there. She had no fear, even after being knocked down a couple times by bigger waves, so we had to keep a close eye on her. The whole vacation she would splash around and say "my so HAPPY!"
Sophie and her cousin Emma went back and forth between best friends and worst enemies. They both love the same things, which is great, but it made sharing difficult. As long as there were no princess or ponies around to fight over, they had a great time playing together!
Sophie also had fun with Liam. Their interests don't overlap as much so they were able to handle being in each other's space without as much drama.
On our second day there was a huge thunderstorm that lasted a couple hours. We made it in from the beach just as the downpour started. I had never seen so much lightning and thunder! We went back outside after it passed and enjoyed an empty beach for awhile.
We were each assigned a night to cook and clean up a dinner. For our night we made chicken teriyaki, but for mom and dad's night they grilled steak and cooked some crab - a real treat!
Every shell was a beautiful treasure to Sophie. She brought us hundred of little shell pieces throughout the week to show us how pretty they were.
One night we went out crab hunting with all the bowls, colanders, strainers, and tongs we could find. It was slim pickings and we only caught 5 - three bigger ones, and two that were more like large spiders.
When we weren't swimming, I had fun building sand animals for Sophie. The first day we made a sand snowman, something she had been talking about doing ever since we told her we were going to the beach. After that, her next requests were a turtle and a shark.